Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'
July 10th, 2012
12:59 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'

(CNN) - Amplifying the Obama campaign's push for Mitt Romney to release more tax documents, Vice President Joe Biden made some of his most biting remarks yet in a speech Tuesday attacking the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on several fronts.

"He wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his," Biden said.

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At a Las Vegas speech for the National Council of La Raza convention, a large Latino civil rights group, Biden carried the torch in the campaign's recent blitz against Romney over reports of his offshore investments.

He lobbed back at Romney the GOP candidate's charge that Obama is "out of touch."

"This is the man who says President Obama is out of touch?" Biden said. "This coming from the man who until recently had a Swiss bank account, and millions of dollars invested in the Grand Cayman Islands beyond scrutiny, and the president, Obama, is out of touch?"

Team Obama and national Democrats have seized on recent reports delving into Romney's finances, including one in the magazine "Vanity Fair," which called Romney a "remarkable financial acrobat" with accounts and investments in several places considered tax havens for Americans – Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

While the campaign hasn't directly charged Romney with tax evasion, they suggest the millionaire may be hiding important details about his finances by not disclosing multiple years of returns.

Biden also quoted from a recent Washington Post report on Romney's former financial firm, Bain Capital, and the GOP contender's suggestion to a Nevada newspaper that the housing market right itself by hitting "rock bottom."

"That may be a sound business judgement if you're running Bain Capital, but it's not a sound judgement for the United States government," Biden charged.

In January, Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and an estimate for 2011. Federal campaign law does not require candidates to release tax returns, but it does require candidates to file annual financial disclosure paperwork, which Romney has done.

The re-election team often points to Romney's father, the late George Romney, who released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.

"He said, and I quote, 'One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show'," Biden said, referring to George Romney's stated reason for putting out a dozen years of documents.

Biden continued: "His son has released only one year of his tax returns. Making a lie of the old adage: Like father, like son."

Romney responded Monday to the recent barrage of attacks, saying his foreign investments have been held in a blind trust and managed by a trustee. The candidate emphasized he has no knowledge of where his money is being placed.

"I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," Romney said in an interview with Radio Iowa.

Romney further reiterated he was in no violation of tax law.

"That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there," the candidate said, arguing the president was trying to "divert attention" from his own record.

A surrogate for Romney, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, came to the candidate's defense on Tuesday, saying it was time for Democrats to let go of the issue.

"He's released everything that he's required to release including paying more than sixteen percent of his income to charitable giving," the Republican congressman said on CNN's "Starting Point." "Governor Romney's been very successful. Get over it."

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Nevada
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Will Stone

    Just another sad, old man.

    July 10, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. American

    College transcripts area false equivalent.

    NEVER has a president been asked to show college records as the people doing to Obama.

    EVERY presidential candidate in recent history has disclosed multiple tax returns, and Romney should be no exception.

    July 10, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Charlotte

    Funny how all the little thuggietards hate Biden. Maybe because their chosen idiot du jour (Mittens) hasn't really got any legal legs to stand on. Or – which we ALL know – morals and ethics. Oh and for your ignoramuses information, disliking Mormonism is not "racism" it's simply failure to legitimize a cult.

    July 10, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @John – Ha,'s funny to read the posts from the Biden fans here
    It's even funnier to read the Repug comments here.. makes us all realize how many lemmings we still have in the US, and how much they emulate the IQ of mud !! Hahahahaha...

    July 10, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Jonathan

    Mitt Romney has given more to charity than Mr. Nobama and Biden combined. Romney is more like-able and honest than these two clowns. It's sad that anyone would vote for a democrat candidate nowadays. So many folks are buying in to this whole "lets let the hard workers pay for all the lazy people" mentality... it is so sad to see. Come on folks, don't accept mediocrity, YOU can excel and do well in life! You do not need a government hand out!

    July 10, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Ed

    Who are the job creators? Does having allot of money to invest make you a job creator, or does being a consumer that buys American made goods and thereby increasing the demand for those goods and creating investment opportunities make you a job creator. Example: If no one wanted an iPhone or IPad Apple would be a lousy investment, but since allot of people do it is a good investment. Maybe we are all, consumer and investors, JOB CREATORS, or more accurately the economy that we are all part of is the job creator.

    However, if Romney and the Republicans are right and the wealthy are the JOB CREATORS and the top 1% hold an ever growing percent of the wealth. Then I guess the Republicans can stop asking Obama where are the jobs and instead ask the top 1% percent that question instead. Thanks Romney for letting Obama off the hook on that one.

    July 10, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. ataboy

    Go get'em Joe! Nothing but the truth about Romney will swat down the golden lies tossed around with the tons of money from his wealthy and corrupt patrons.

    July 10, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Steve- Illinois

    He's complied with the law! End of story! I guess you could call it "executive privelege!"

    July 10, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Donovan

    I'll never vote for one of these racist GOPaggers.

    July 10, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Rmoney's Hidding Something

    Funny thing, Romeny released 23 years of tax returns to John McCain while trying out for VP in 2008 in 2012 the American public deserve 1 year. McCain picked Palin, probably because of too much bad publicity from Romney's tax avoidance, it would be seen as un-patriotic. Of course he's got something to hide, he frequently bets against America, drains as much as he can out of it with giving the least amount back, total kind of person who'd renounce their citizenship and move to a tax haven. And with the blind trust, total BS, if that thing started shaving off $20mil a month, you better believe he'd know exactly where every last penny is and where and why its going where it is. Don't be so stupid.

    July 10, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Never Give Up

    More ads on this issue, Obama campaign. Please don't let this issue cool down until Romney releases his Tax Returns. Gingrich pressurised him during GOP primaries and he was successful. At least he produced one year or so of his returns, in which we learnt something from it.

    July 10, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. John The Electrician

    What's he hiding.

    July 10, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. ttbala

    If you are so smart how come you are taken in by the Lies of Mittens, at least Obama has his money in this country like a real amercan should, not hide in foriegn countries and accumulate more money and hide all these earniongs in offshore banks and not pay taxes, big deal he gave a lot to charities, just take a look the one charity that he gave, kept him from going to war and serving his country, well, anyone trying to exonerate mittens could be even dumber than mittens itself.

    July 10, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Dennis1020

    Romney may be following the letter of the law, but he also needs to realize that perception becomes reality in the rough and tumble of a political campaign. I hope the Obama campaign team grabs hold of this issue and shakes it like a pit bull on a bone. If the Republicans think it's faiir game to ask for President Obama's birth certificate ad nauseum, even after it has been certified and produced, then the Obama campaign, and the people, have every right to go after Romney's finances.

    July 10, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Investment Advisor

    @ David in FL.....Isn't that the truth! Put the shoe on the other foot and see the response. When you don't have it you rally against those that do. The responses to this story are pitiful. Go back and look at the envy disguised as disgust because Romney has money. In the eyes of the Liberals its an evil thing, until it happens to them.

    July 10, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. ublvble

    mr.romney ask obama and biden – show me the jobs – then i will show you mine.....

    July 10, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    WHY DOES NO ONE POINT OUT that Romney shows very poor judgment because he FAILED TO ANTICIPATE this kind of thing even though he has been running for President or planning to run for over a Decade!?!

    IF he were smarter back then, he would have OVERPAID his taxes like a Patriot; he would have put all money in Mom & Pop investment firms; he would have managed his personal finances in such a way, for all those years planning to run for President, that they could have looked awesome to voters.

    Instead, his half-witted greed gets the best of him; that and his arrogance believing he knows best and is smarter than Voters.

    IS ROMNEY SMARTER THAN YOU!?! He thinks so...

    July 10, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. ublvble

    biden and obama distracting the basic issue – incapable of creating jobs.....just creating more entitlements and increase the debt

    July 10, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Doug

    His claim that he isn't keeping track of his own money investments over seas just contradicts the fact of his wealth. He did not become filthy rich by NOT knowing where his own money is. And secondly, if this is truly the case, then how can we trust this man with the Treasury and Federal Reserve ?

    July 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. Jack in Florida

    Hey Mitt.......ignorance is NO excuse. It is tough to think that you have so much money that you don't know where some of it is..............................YOU ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE MAJORITY OF THIS COUNTRY. A VOTE FOR MITT IS A VOTE AGAINST THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!

    July 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Mittens now says that "he has nothing to hide and is not aware of how is money is being invested and whats happening to it in that trust". Really, is Mr. Mittens so naive as to not know what is happening with his money. This coming from a man who analyzed, invested and purchased companies delving into their financial details, for a living. Mittens has tons to hide. How about starting with his tax filings for the last 10 years followed by his offshore trust funds that he so conveniently dismisses as "not aware of what is happening to his money in those trusts"

    July 10, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Gene

    So sick of Obama's "wag-the-dog" diversions. If he could run on his record, he should. But he can't because it's so bad.

    July 10, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. marty

    Joe Biden is a breath of fresh air, decent, great family man and a great patriot.

    July 10, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's too late to charge him with tax evasion, he's hid the money in the Blind Trust of Bermuda, Switzerland, China and the Cayman Island and the Coke Bros. et al are working day and night on a coverup. But you can bet one thing for sure the Obama administration and campaign staff will not be distracted no matter what, when and how they try to coverup.

    July 10, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. RNC is out of touch with Latinos, Women and Middle Class Americans

    Romney is taking on water with his latest denial of his "Blind Trust". Romney claims he's a business wizard but can't explain or show his personal tax/finances. Romney is a tax dodger and hedge his bet against the US.

    July 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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